Volatility

October 21, 2017

The Primal Mammalian Movement

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From the smallest beginnings, and the power of a seed.

 
 
One of the mainstream media’s primary tasks is to convince each individual media consumer that he’s all alone with any critical or dissenting thought he might have, so it’s best to suppress those thoughts. It’s part of the “softer” neoliberal alternative to fascism: Rather than de jure censorship and violent repression of dissent, get the mass of atomized individuals each to censor himself, use crimestop, never listen to thoughtcrime or entertain any cognitive dissonance.
 
Hierarchical, professionalized science, including its hyperspecialization, is inherently authoritarian and pro-status quo. This is especially true of the technocracy paradigm under which science is assumed by almost all practitioners and fans to be equivalent to the development of technology. Under this paradigm, science = engineering. Most of all it’s true under the corporate science paradigm where this tech development mission automatically is assumed to be in the service of profit-seeking corporations. Putting that together, we have the modern scientific paradigm where what Kuhn called “normal science” quite simply is what otherwise would be called “corruption”.
 
I propose to overthrow this scientific paradigm and replace it with a paradigm of science rededicated to seeking knowledge for its own sake and for the well-being of humanity and the Earth. In the same way that every branch of politics must be socialist if it’s to have any legitimacy at all, so all branches of science must become the ecological versions of their respective disciplines. Therefore the ecological sciences, inflected by chaos theory, must become paramount. In the same way, technological design must adhere to the ecology rather than strive for domination and control. In particular, only agroecology offers a way for humanity to restore the soil, avert the worst of climate chaos and all other environmental crises, eat sufficiently and well, and organize society in a way combining the best of reason, humaneness, and ecological holism. This is the vision of food sovereignty.
 
There’s lots of people already doing good work toward that eventual goal. We need to scale that up, first as a campaign of ideas. As for our personal lives, the Earth’s call to anyone is to commit your life to the cause. That’s a very hard sell in this Mammon theocracy where even among the people who superficially have the right ideas and good intent, most still are objectively Randroids in the way they view the world. Even fellow travelers of the necessary ideas fundamentally don’t understand the concept of having no private existence, existing fundamentally as a political animal, a public citizen. All we can do for starters is to keep propagating ideas which are fundamentally against the whole grain of this theocracy, and try to find fellow atheists versus the superstitions of Mammon, technocracy, scientism, productionism who want to work on that atheism-propagation project. This is one of the basic building blocks necessary to build a true cultural, spiritual, existential movement dedicated affirmatively to the necessary agroecology/food sovereignty transformation, negatively to the total abolition of poison-based agriculture.
 
That’s the ultimate need. What individuals and small groups can do right now:
 
1. Take on as much of the propagation work as one can.
 
2. Become active building up the community food sector as much as one can. Growing some of one’s own food in a garden is a good first step, and the actions quickly scale up from there.
 
3. In one’s personal lifestyle get as independent of the system, as “off-grid” (using that term both literally and metaphorically) as possible.
 
4. To the extent one has to remain enmeshed in the system for the time being, at least be clear in thought and word that this is under duress. I still have to drive a car, but I never think or say anything other than that the car as such has to go. This is contrary to the climate crocodiles who wring their hands and then tout hybrids and electric cars (i.e. fracking cars, nuke cars, coal cars) as some kind of answer. No, that’s just a more pernicious form of climate denialism.
 
5. In general: Do the most good you can and never do evil. I have never once heard of an example of an evil action that was necessary in any way. That’s always a lie.
 
Much of this focuses on ideas and propagating ideas. I’m forced to be a writer since for now I lack any greater scope for action. In Eric Hoffer’s terminology, I’m an activist by nature who’s been forced into the role of the “man of words”. For now there really is no greater scope for action in America, since the necessary movement doesn’t yet exist in any tangible, coherent form. Or, any rudiments which may be cohering are not yet visible to the general culture of dissent.
 
So it follows that the first, prerequisite step toward building this movement is to propagate the necessary ideas for this movement. Not even at first to convince people, but to force the existence of truly alternative and practicable ideas into the public consciousness so that, when the cultural tipping point suddenly comes (history demonstrates that we have no idea when it will come or what proximate cause will trigger it) and lots of people are suddenly looking for a new idea, this set of ideas will be one of the sets laying around ready to be taken up.
 
Toward that great goal, the second necessary preliminary step is to form at least the nucleus of a future mass movement in the form of coherent organizations, of whatever size attainable, which will undertake whatever wedge actions are possible for the time being but whose primary action will be to propagate the ideas as far and wide as possible.
 
 
And then all this must take place in tandem with building up the community food sector. We especially need more local retail producers, and processing infrastructure, and political organization against the state’s repressive campaigns. The community food movement already exists as a vibrant movement with great scope for all the action one could desire (in addition to my so far intermittent market gardening, I’ve worked at a farmers’ market, herbal medicine garden, and am director of two community gardens). We need for the whole thing, from organic horticulture to market gardening to abolition of pesticides/GMOs to a global agroecology transformation, to evolve into one coherent cultural force.
 
 
Propagate the new and necessary ideas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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12 Comments

  1. Well it’s the ‘ol chicken or the egg paradox – does a person wait until other people are already taking actions and then join them or does one simply take actions anyway.

    The former is obscured by the both the corporate and the so-called alternative media (which performs a gate-keeping function) fooling the one’s just waiting into endlessly doing so. These ‘career activists’ spend their time chasing foundation grants while suppressing any threatening dissent and thus containing revolution otherwise their grants are in peril. They work with NGO’s to fly all over the world and take over pockets of dissent, by crowding out the local people’s actual concerns and goals with their own thus pre-empting and corrupting any dissent that threatens the status quo.

    Exactly the same thing happened when the Occupy tactic was deployed here. At first they were caught un-prepared, but within a few weeks they planted their moles within the groups, declared ‘leaders’ who then proceeded to impose a consensus structure which is specifically designed as a time sink, in order to give the authorities time to develop a strategy to neutralize the tactic.

    “the graveyard of movements”

    Good cop – bad cop

    these self declared leaders were the good cops ‘just trying to help’ while the corporate media were the bad cops, demonizing the whole affair from the beginning, then shaping a narrative that the ‘movement’ was ‘dead’ once the moles infested it and bogged it down.

    The conditions that motivated the working poor to want revolution have not changed – in fact they’ve gotten worse.

    So this brings us back to the chicken or the egg question. The seed of revolution is even stronger today so Occupy 2.0 is waiting to blossom. It’s only a question of when – what trigger will unleash the pent-up torrent of discontent.

    I’ve looked at Nielsen ratings and other metrics, and found a shockingly small audience for these national ‘news’ shows.

    Typically less than 1 % of the U.S. population even watches this garbage. So the burning question is, how do they maintain control when 99 % of us aren’t even being exposed to this trash?

    The answer seems to be people’s tendency to follow the crowd, but a critical part of it is lack of perspective, lack of discussion of alternatives, and lack of engagement with proposed courses of action.

    People want to see the bankers hang, they want the banker’s heads on pikes. They want that tiny handful that’s ruining the Earth and making everyone else poor, to be brought to justice. These people have names and addresses.

    All else is un-appealing, un-attractive and un-engaging. THIS was the aspect of the Occupy tactic that scared the hell out of the authorities – seeing banker’s heads on pikes [protest signs] in the crowds:

    as well as the corporate media and politicians:

    THIS is what real revolution looks like, and starts at.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 21, 2017 @ 8:40 am

    • “How do they maintain control when 99 % of us aren’t even being exposed to this trash?”

      Almost always, the status quo depends far more on the inertial toleration and rote obedience of a much larger group than the active support of a minority. It seems to me though that something like voting is a better measure of having some level of support for the system than watching the Goebbels ministry “news” reports. Paradoxically, it seems to me that those who are most clearly among the supporters of the system are precisely those who support the likes of Sanders or the Green Party, since these supporters evidently are motivated constructive critics, while voting for the official Rep/Dem candidates could in some cases be more inertial and rote than an indication of active support.

      Fantasizing about heads on pikes is all good and well, but for almost everyone who so fantasizes it’s a substitute for long-run committed action rather than a spur to it. Similarly, the main problem with so-called “conspiracy theories” isn’t that they’re conspiracy theories or even that many of them probably are false, but rather that for most who obsess on them it’s a form of anti-political escapism rather than part of any political analysis meant to spur organization and action. The mode of presentation is designed to paralyze rather than drive to action.

      I’d say that for any intelligent cadre of the system, the scariest thing about Occupy must have been the prospect that it could move beyond what was still mostly whining “where’s the good system job I was promised?”, to a complete burning-one’s-ships and renunciation of the whole concept of getting on that “career path”, seeking “jobs” within the system: that this system as such has to be abolished.

      I referred to Eric Hoffer in the piece. He’s one of the many analysts of revolution who note that one of the surest milestones on the path toward a revolutionary situation is where a visible faction among educated intellectuals breaks with the system and openly calls for radical change. Hoffer regarded that also as a prerequisite, since such an articulate dissident faction is the only source of the new ideas necessary to jolt the people out of rote, inertial, passive acquiescence and get them thinking: First, there IS an alternative; second, this alternative might be better. Then when something triggers the crisis and passivity suddenly falls from the people like a tattered old coat and they become radically active, this alternative is there to be put into action.

      Comment by Russ — October 23, 2017 @ 6:32 am

  2. The Occupy tactic was co-opted and corrupted into what you’ve described. It was originally a project from Adbusters along with ‘buy nothing day’ and other ‘culture jamming’ tactics. (I turned the ‘buy nothing day’ promos into just ‘buy nothing’ period and aired them in heavy rotation)

    https://www.adbusters.org/occupywallstreet/

    First the angry students came, then the neoliberal and crypto-zionist moles came, then the police added homeless troublemakers, so the corporate media could focus on them to condemn the entire affair. (while the moles attacked from within as I described)

    Since I was involved from the very beginning, I saw this go down, along with investigative journalism where I looked at these sponsors and checked out their backgrounds. Turns out they have a history of this – providing money in exchange for sitting in on semi-private meetings of the steering committees, while relaying between democrat operatives and these newly formed groups, to steer them into being swallowed by agents of status quo.

    I’ve been watching this take place since the Seattle protests in 2001, while being directly involved. When I saw the same thing happening over & over I started investigating the foundation funded groups involved, checking out their backgrounds.

    It just so happens that Stratfor’s ‘liberated’ emails (which I’m in possession of) contain memos, emails and even videos of meetings where the people involved in fomenting this activity, brag about how effective this tactic is, along with liberated classified material (some of which is made public by the Intercept, but mostly via Wikileaks) of these exact precise tactics of the DoD and their intel contractors, that specifically describe, illustrate and apply metrics to, these exact tactics as well.

    In other words I have hard, actionable evidence that backs up these claims. Evidence some people paid dearly for to make public (like Jeremy Hammond)

    The Vietnam protests showed that it requires major riots in every city, sustained, day after day and month after month. By ordinary working people, who are the backbone of the economy. So nothing scares the authorities more than calls for a general nationwide strike by the _workers_, with us out on the streets instead.

    Any other people involved are just cosmetic.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 23, 2017 @ 7:26 pm

    • I was shown the original Adbusters material in the summer of 2011 and thought it looked quite modest. I always had the impression that the street events temporarily went far beyond what the organizers themselves had intended. But like you say, it was first angry students, i.e. “where’s my elite-track job you promised me????” types, and deteriorated from there.

      As for the workers, history has already proven it was a vain hope to look to them. Marx’s prophecy was proven wrong: The vaunted “proletarian consciousness” almost never arose even where centralized industrial economies provided fertile soil for such a growth (same for the strategy of a general strike), while analysts such as Herzen and Bakunin were proven right: The worker is mostly an aspiring bourgeois. To put it in my terms, workers are grinders who are on board with productionism, they merely want better pay and working conditions. But they support the whole anti-human, anti-ecological machine just as much as their bosses. That’s a big part of why I rejected “the left” as offering any alternative to the whole abominable machine.

      And of course by now that theoretically fertile soil no longer exists. The proletariat has been dissolved even in principle, and all workers are fully decentralized, globalized atoms. There’s nothing left in the West but the elites, the culturally and spiritually atomized precariat, and the lumpen-mass. And in the South globalization is shunting everyone directly from landbase communities to terminal slums. The sooner revolutionaries accept this truth and find ways to work with it, instead of continuing to cherish the long-discredited notion of a proletarian revolution (and of traditional capitalist “development” in the South), which is no longer possible even in principle, the better. (Indeed, by now that concept is reactionary by any objective definition of that term. I’ve long pondered the irony that technically, “progressives” and most radicals are species of reactionary in that they do nothing but stroke the gravestones of long-dead ideas and prescriptions.)

      Same for the notion of a general strike. It almost never was tried even where structural conditions for it seemed propitious. Today no such conditions exist. And the focus of such an idea was always misguided. The general strike humanity needs is against grinder Protestant machine notions of “work” as such, not against capitalist control of the machine. Humanity should strike in order to end living as mass insect “workers” and begin living as human beings. Such a strike would mean walking away from and rejecting the machine on a permanent basis, as fully and fast as possible toward a complete break, and resuming community-based production and distribution for human use only. My focus on the extreme contrast between producing food for human beings vs. agricultural commodities for corporate power is just the first and primary example of what’s necessary for a human future.

      Politics is Dead for the rest of the lifespan of the Extreme Energy Civilization. Anyone who wants to start undermining this machine toward hastening its inevitable collapse, and who wants to build the necessary new within the old toward the eventual ecological renaissance, needs to burn their ships and fully embrace the necessary new ideas, which all boil down to refined manifestations of the oldest ideas of living in harmony with ourselves and the Earth.

      Comment by Russ — October 24, 2017 @ 2:41 am

  3. So what you’re proposing is something that’s never been done before, under conditions that have never existed before.

    I merely related conditions, aspects and classes where revolution has worked, as a template for further action.

    – the sustained major protests (some would characterize as riots) in every city nationwide, to end the Vietnam war was the last action that actually produced significant results. War being an extremely important source of AGW after all, and now the wars have become endless and multiple. Wars are fought by soldiers, without which they wouldn’t be possible. Soldiers are almost all working class. So while one can engage in fantasy scenarios and ignore how, why and by who actual revolutions are started, as well as critique the motivations, experiences and goals of the people who create revolutions, which simply boils down to putting food on the table – simply surviving, I happen to make a distinction between (and support) the working poor as opposed to the huge carbon footprints of ‘the rich’ who are driving us straight into ecological armageddon purely for greed and status. So while workers aren’t ideal revolutionaries, when their carbon footprints are compared (which is a new critical factor that never existed before) to any other class, it strains the imagination to produce any better group of people to deal with this new reality. Native American Indians, the Amish, and others who live simply so that others can simply live, in balance with and respect for nature perhaps. But the numbers are missing. The vast majority of people are working class, so any proposal that alienates, dismisses and discounts us, then relies on a tiny minority which, considering the inertia of climate change to forcings (the climate we’re experiencing today is from emissions 40 years ago) is highly unlikely to produce any measurable results.

    So looking at tiny minorities, what do we have?

    Let’s see… Well since the people who are killing the Earth ‘have names and addresses’ (the people mostly responsible for AGW are a few thousand billionaires and ~ 90 corporations) I guess the best step would be assassination teams to take them out, and also serve as a warning to those that would take their place.

    So the pikes are back 😉

    Comment by Anonymous — October 24, 2017 @ 7:38 am

    • I don’t consider the atomized masses (which includes the vast majority of those who are technically “working class”) to be a minority. On the contrary, the ideologically aware and self-driven, every type put together including the handful of Marxists still around, still comprises only a tiny minority amid this vast mass. None of us is part of any coherent movement since no such movements yet exist. Today’s conditions indeed never existed before, in the same way that the conditions for the age of revolutions had never existed prior to the 18th century. Those conditions are gone, so we do indeed need to do something that’s never been done before, just as the French did what had never been done before starting in 1789. Theirs was the first true revolution of the modern age, the capitalist age. Whatever humanity does (or fails to do, instead submitting totally passively to the extreme turbulence which is surging regardless of any choice we make) over the next several decades will be the first transformation from this productionist age to what, one way or another, will be a return to normal history amid the ecology. Gaia will insist, and it also won’t be possible to conjure more cheap fossil fuels out of thin air. Our choice is to undergo this transformation the easier way, or the very, very hard way. Of course the easier way will still take lots of blood, toil, tears, and sweat. There’s no other way. Babylon’s party has gone on far too long and wasted and destroyed too much.

      As I said before, fantasies of violence are nothing but infantile escapism. It contributes nothing to the necessary hard work of movement-building, and on the contrary is nothing but escapism from this necessity.

      Comment by Russ — October 24, 2017 @ 11:12 am

  4. There must have been a misunderstanding. I was saying the working poor are the majority – we carry the numbers, atomized or not, and that non-working class people are the minority.

    We’re experiencing mass shootings pretty regularity these days. And the sentiment on the street is what these pictures portray. (which is why the Occupy tactic spread like wildfire, growing so rapidly it took weeks to attempt to manage it) And now only their massive propaganda effort keeps the narrative that forestalls climate, corporate and war criminals from being targeted, alive.

    If I’m not mistaken the French employed violence as well, if you want to choose just that one example as success.

    If over 80 % of AGW emissions are produced by a tiny minority it requires far less effort to target them, since no matter what the majority does they will continue to be the problem regardless, otherwise.

    Anonymous – The bankers ARE the problem:

    I could easily characterize ignoring 80 % of the problem while beseeching a vaguely defined mass of people to undertake hard work of movement-building, lacking communication to even begin, since all channels and stations are owned by 6 corporations, and what media isn’t, is monitored, watching for just such attempts, as escapism. Whistling in the dark so to speak..

    Comment by Anonymous — October 24, 2017 @ 4:09 pm

    • I’ve ignored nothing, at least nothing you mention. Since you know history you know every movement begins with a small committed group who, until they cohered, were “vaguely defined”. The best I can do is speculatively anticipate where this pioneer cadre eventually will come from. The most obvious soil is among indentured student debtors who eventually realize they’re NEVER going to get the lucrative career promised them and as a result turn definitively against the system and put their education and skills to work against it. That’s the most obvious likely source of a committed revolutionary intellectual cadre. But so far I don’t see much evidence that this change of consciousness is happening yet among such people. So far the truly anti-system people are ad hoc and uncommitted.

      Speaking more generally, I’ve always suspected that if and when true anti-system movements begin to rise, their cadre mostly will be people who had no previous record of “activism”. That historically was the case in 1920s-30s Europe (our closest analogue). Very few who had previously been active as e.g. liberals or conservatives ever became radicalized. Rather, so-called “apathetic” people suddenly became galvanized by radical politics. It stands to reason: The very mindset that leads people into reformist politics tends to block off any further progress along the line of radicalization. By the same token, one of the reasons people might abstain from reformism is that they view it, consciously or just intuitively, as lame and insufficient to the times. But these same people might answer a more radical and all-encompassing call.

      I admit that my own attempts in this direction haven’t gotten results yet. Everyone still wants their “stuff” and still thinks they’re going to win the lottery. But I still think it’s just a matter of time, and that no one can predict the hour when suddenly everything changes. The job of philosophical pioneers like me and whoever wants to take on similar work is to propagate the new and necessary ideas that people will look for when they’re ready.

      Comment by Russ — October 25, 2017 @ 3:30 am

  5. [students] “..the most obvious likely source of a committed revolutionary intellectual cadre..”

    oh you mean those ‘whiners’?

    “liberals or conservatives”

    false dichotomy

    “Everyone still wants their “stuff” and still thinks they’re going to win the lottery.”

    over-generalization, assumption of greed/undeserved gain/faith in mathematical impossibilities.

    “philosophical pioneers like me”

    whistling in the dark, failing to address or even look at the largest contributors to –

    AGW

    it’s a mistake to use the past (selectively I might add) for examples to deal with the present, which is a whole new paradigm, and since climate inertia and carbon footprints PER CAPITA are aspects you consistently fail to account for, you’re not grasping or presenting a workable strategy to ‘the whiners’ (but do manage to alienate them)

    Another false dichotomy is to assume us workers can’t BOTH take out the handful that cause > 80 % of AGW, AND adjust to lower carbon lifestyles.

    But let’s look at this claim of being a pioneer again in terms of reach. I’ve posted here a few examples of what I’ve been airing to an audience of > 70,000

    It’s anyone’s guess how many actually tune in (I don’t collect metrics) but I bet it’s more than 1. People have posted youtube videos of driving around town listening to one of my stations..

    Quite radical pieces are aired, anti-consumerism, anti-big banks, etc. I’ve done community affairs where I specifically tell people what future is already baked in, and urge them to start planting personal gardens, large shared community gardens just outside town and to install rain barrels, solar and wind, etc.

    People are tired & fed up, they’ve been getting poorer while a few in the ‘inner circle’ here are getting richer, off our taxes which keep going up, sitting around thinking of projects for their friends to profit off (tax & spend).

    I’ve done investigative journalism pieces on exactly who the inner circle are (mostly by cross-referencing the election ethics commission contribution listings with the local chamber of commerce membership list). And have aired several expose’s on these people. They are bankrupting the city for their own gain.

    I’ve _named names_, and explained all the steps I took to find them, as well as pointed out the subsidy database online and what businesses (which I call rackets on-air) are getting them. As well as calling for boycotts of several local businesses and explaining why.

    And all this happens under the threat of legal peril – my equipment is subject to seizure at any time.

    But I don’t consider this activity in any way exceptional. At best I’d consider myself an independent reporter, an investigative journalist, or just a DJ.

    It’s seems rather grandiose to use the term ‘philosophical pioneer’ considering the above, when a more accurate description would be GMO investigator.

    The two flaws in your philosophy that stand out most are :

    1.) giving ‘the rich’ with their huge carbon footprints and propaganda machine a free pass.

    2.) blaming the victims, putting down the workers, the whiners I mean students – people with small carbon footprints just trying to survive.

    Engaging in false dichotomies, lacking the will and/or the time to look into the true depth of the corruption, and failing to account for and consider the impact of the massive propaganda apparatus on the course of events, both on us victims and on your own analysis. (I can provide download links to the liberated emails I talked about so you can see for yourself)

    Begrudgingly acknowledging these things only when prodded doesn’t cut it, they need to be integrated into your philosophy to begin with..

    So far they are not. I recommend you bone up on carbon footprints per capita, take a close look at the true extent of the information warfare being conducted by our own taxpayer funded military (which is at the core of the problem) and re-assess what value the working poor have, while refraining from insulting and alienating us – that attitude never goes over well I can assure you ; )

    Comment by Anonymous — October 25, 2017 @ 9:15 am

    • Well, I find it hard to believe you’re as stupid as you’re pretending to be, not understanding the difference between debtors still whining for their promised jobs and those who have realized that promise was a lie, that those jobs are gone forever, and as a result turn irreversibly against the system. So I take your comment as willful trolling and will delete anything further along the same lines.

      The rest of your comment is the same stupidity, the same old internet idiocy. No sentient person could read this site and not see it as condemning the rich and their flunkeys, including all grinders and scabs. This site is interested only in discussing the strategy and tactics toward building an ecological, anti-technocratic, anti-productionist movement dedicated to, among other things, abolishing both employer AND “worker”. You know, the ORIGINAL Marxian vision before “communist” grinders and scabs (productionist every bit as much as any other capitalist) hijacked it?

      Stay on topic or get lost.

      Comment by Russ — October 26, 2017 @ 9:11 am

  6. […] destruction. (The same goes for “leftism”.) Nothing short of a new consciousness and a new human movement, different from and opposed to the pathologies of productionism, shall suffice.     […]

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  7. […] liberate ourselves first in thought, and propagate the necessary new ideas. Then we must organize, taking all actions possible within the existing framework, while preparing for the coming physical, political, and spiritual tribulations as the extremist […]

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